NOTÍCIAS / Glaucoma: what is it? What are the symptoms?
  • Glaucoma: what is it? What are the symptoms?

    Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases originated from an injury to the optic nerve that is responsible for forwarding visual information to the brain. When the nerve is impaired, the person's ability to see is compromised due to loss of field of vision. Glaucoma is an eye disease that, although not presenting symptoms in the early stages and development, can cause irreversible damage to vision, even leading to blindness. In fact, the absence of signs is one of the main reasons for the worsening of the clinical picture.

    Among the problems that affect vision, glaucoma is one of the most common nowadays. In general, it is associated with increased internal eye pressure, which causes different anatomical and physiological variations in the optic nerve. In order to avoid this type of complication, it is important to obtain the diagnosis as early as before. One of the primary signs of the disease is the loss of the peripheral field of vision. The injury happens gradually, that is, it begins mildly (which makes it difficult to be perceived by the patient). The evolution of the condition can cause moderate and severe losses that are already more easily identifiable by the tests.

    Many individuals affected by glaucoma only notice the damage when they get "tubular vision". In this condition, only the central vision operates correctly, causing a sensation that is usually described as if there was a tube in front of the eyes. It is quite common that, at this stage of the disease, the individual begins to stumble, bump into objects and feel a worsening in the quality of vision at night. Symptoms can progress to severe vision loss and even blindness. Therefore, people within the risk factors should be attentive and periodically visit the ophthalmologist. Thus, it is possible to identify a possible glaucoma in advance, as well as contain the progress of the disease.

    The main risk factor for the development of glaucoma is high intraocular pressure. The initial region of the eye produces aqueous humor. This liquid, if not drained properly, can result in blockage of the flow, thus increasing eye pressure.  There are also other factors that may favor the onset of the disease, for example, advancing age. From the age of 40, people are more likely to suffer from glaucoma and this risk increases even more after the age of 60. In view of this, with 35 years of age or older, it is already highly recommended to make annual preventive consultations with the ophthalmologist, especially if there is a family history of glaucoma.

    Pathologies such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, heart problems, tumors in the eye, eye inflammations and retinal displacement can also be considered conditions that increase the risk of glaucoma. Genetics is another factor, especially in chronic glaucoma, because of this, if you have cases of the disease in the family, it is essential to monitor your intraocular pressure on a regular basis and with appropriate ophthalmologic examinations.

    In general, the purpose of treatment is to reduce eye pressure. As for the form of treatment, as well as its symptoms, there are specificities for each type of the disease. Patients with chronic glaucoma are usually treated only with eye drops.  Acute glaucoma scares as a medical emergency. In such cases eye drops, pills and even intravenous solutions are used to decrease intraocular pressure.

    It is extremely important to be attentive to the symptoms of glaucoma and to visit the ophthalmologist regularly so that it is possible to discover the disease early in its development. With this, early diagnosis is facilitated and results optimized. Only in this way is it possible to achieve success in performing the procedures, as well as avoid future complications.

    Preventing yourself against diseases that can affect your eyes is the best way to ensure healthy vision throughout your life.